In Syria’s Qamishli, school starts amid insecurity

25-09-2013

 

ARA News

Qamishlo/al-Qamishli, Syria − The ongoing devastative war in Syria left serious impacts on the civil life in most of the country’s areas. One of the components that suffers the most amid the current state of instability and insecurity are the students.   

In most of the stricken cities, schools were either totally damaged due to the continuous shelling and bombing, or they turned into shelters to the displaced families. Some are even used by the armed forces. In relatively less affected cities, other kinds of barriers prevented pupils and students from joining their classes. Insecurity and the worsening economic situation imposed considerable constraints on the families who are incapable of affording their children’s studies and the risk they experience amid the unbearable security vacuum.  

However, the north-eastern city of Qamishlo/al-Qamishli, where Kurds form the majority of the population, students insisted to join the new academic year despite all difficulties.  

Asking on the level to which the current condition in the country affects schooling system and students in Qamishlo, ARA News received answers from several concerned parties.    

Owner of a stationary store in Qamishlo described the difficulties he and his fellow sellers face to import the necessary stationary from big cities such as Aleppo and Damascus and the barriers imposed. 

“Next to these difficulties, the customers’ demand has remarkably decreased as thousands of families left the area looking for a safe haven in neighbouring countries, and many others are incapable to afford the expenses due to their bad economic status,” he said. “People prefer to buy the most basic and urgent stationary to go to school, which reflects negatively on our industry. All of that show the serious and deep impacts of the current war across Syria on the less devastated cities.”  

According to residents of the city, the recent clashes between the Kurdish forces (YPG and Asayish) and Islamist groups (al-Nusra and ISIS) in the Kurdish area raises the fears of the families who either remain and prevent their children from going to school or they make their decision to leave the entire area looking for security.  

Others told ARA News that the teaching staff in most of Qamishlo’s schools have left the city after violence spread in the region, which formed an extra pressure on students and their families, “because lack of qualified staffs in schools means lack of education anyway”.  

The director of a primary school in Qamishlo/al-Qamishli said that the Syrian Ministry of Education did not show real interest in the start of the new academic year in most of the country’s areas including Qamishlo.  

“Unlike other years, we didn’t receive any official instructions from the Ministry this year regarding the system and any potential amendments,” the school director told ARA News. “We suffer a remarkable shortage in quantity of published school books this year. Although we requested the Ministry’s attention in this regard, but no answer received yet; which shows the officials’ disinterest to regularly start this academic year. The war is definitely the main reason.”  

The director added that the Ministry’s behaviour led many members of the teaching staff at his school to leave. “Unfortunately, students are the main victim of the current situation. We still have no clue how to continue over the coming months,” he concluded.   

According to the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Valerie Amos, more than two million Syrian children are deprived of their right to education with the start of the current academic year, either because of the schools damage due to the military operations, or as a result of displacement and migration.   

 

Report by: Miran Qamishlo

Source: ARA News 

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